April 16, 2006
An incredible aural experience!
The Harmonic Chant, developed by Hykes is based upon the natural harmonic overtones present in the universe since the Big Bang and universal to all music. Hykes was inspired by traditional world music of Tibet, Mongolia and Tuva, medieval Gregorian chant, North Indian Raga music and singer Sheila Dhar, Just Intonation composers La Monte Young and Terry Riley, and primordial polyphonic singing of Europe.
"Harmonic Presence" is the meditative system Hykes has developed combining music, contemplative awareness practices, and healing sounds. He teaches sacred music and meditation at leading retreat centers such as Esalen Institute and Kripalu.
He began experimenting with harmonic or overtone singing in 1974; his first musical composition, "Harmonic Tissues," explored in 4-part harmony the full-spectrum universe of possible harmonic overtones, undertones, chords and beating tones, through slowly ascending and descending cycles of 4 sine waves, which he manually dialed from lowest to highest and back, one track at a time. He incorporated his activities in New York as a not-for-profit arts organization called the Harmonic Arts Society Inc. on September 11, 1981.
Notable appearances and contributions
Hykes has co-hosted evenings with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Gyuto and Gyume Monks, the first ever in the United States (1985-6). He was invited by revered incarnate lama Dzongsar Khyentse to contribute music to his feature film "Travellers and Magicians".
Hykes collaborated twice with the English theater and film director Peter Brook, contributing film music for Meetings with Remarkable Men (1979) and training Brook's French Mahabharata cast. Hykes has also contributed music to the films Travellers and Magicians, Dharma River, Dead Poets Society, Ghost, and Baraka, among others.
He has been awarded numerous grants and fellowships for his work, notably from: UNESCO's Fund for the Promotion of Culture, several grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (USA), and the New York State Council on the Arts. In October of 2005, he was awarded a $50,000 Flying Elephants Foundation Fellowship.
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I met David on the night of this concert, and he graciously allowed me to push my mics in front of him for this evening, and on another evening, 2006-01-18
So on two occasions I was gifted with the opportunity to try to capture some of the most amazing sounds that I've ever heard coming from the human body being used as an instrument.
The evenings concerts were intimate occasions with less than a hundred people per event, which made for an exceptional experience, both aurally, and spiritually.
I've corresponded with David since that time, and in casual conversation a couple of days ago, I asked if I might share the recordings with a larger, very appreciative listener group, and he loved the idea.
So, in conjunction with the efforts of the fine bunch of curators here at LMA in setting this up, and my being fortunate enough to be allowed to push record, and thru Davids most wonderful extension to this community, I give you the results of this evening.
At a later time, I'll post the second day as well (still needs to meet LMA standards processing).
I've edited this version to a music-only-version, with the applause removed, with the intent of using this as a meditation tape.
If there is interest, I'll post the raw masters at a later time as well.
peace and wellness to you and yours
rating this a 5-star, due to Davids spectacular talents, and his wonderful extension to this community in allowing these shows to be posted.
Hopefully the recording adequately reflects his talents.